Whether it’s the free product or the feeling of being associated with a great brand, high level sponsorships have always been an attractive topic for the social media savvy, highly motivated junior rider. While riders are often curious about the products they get to use, the sponsor’s objective is all about getting the rider to help get their brand known.
Here’s what you need to know about junior athletes and high level sponsorships.
Most junior riders from a young age have a strong desire to form alliances with their favourite brands and represent them as a sponsored athlete. It sets them up in the cycling industry, allows them to develop speaking, media, social media skills and confidence. It also teaches responsibility and discipline.
While sponsorships can be a very positive opportunity for riders, there are also things to be mindful of. For example, having a sponsorship can put extra pressure on the junior rider. When a junior rider is under a sponsored contract, they have:
- Result responsibilities
- Social media posting responsibilities
- Product usage responsibilities
- Pressure from the community and others
Over time these responsibilities can put a strain on the mental wellbeing of the young athlete., particularly if they have school and extracurricular pressures as well.
While sponsorships have their positives, as they help form discipline and teach lifelong skills, both the juniors and parents need to carefully analyse at what age it is preferable to pursue sponsorships and choose ones that support the time the athlete is able to give the sponsor.